Peanut Butter Cake

This is a belated birthday cake for Mr S. With a hectic weekend, and the fact that Mr S ate all the peanuts, I did not get around to making it. A week later, here it is.

I wish I could bake to half the standard that the people of GBBO do but that is not my forte. I fear Mary would look at me with a look of pity and Hollywood would give a look that suggested I’ve just given him a bake containing a few of my dogs favourite treats! Still, we enjoy them so that is all that matters.

Get set…

  • Butter 2 x 20cm cake tins & line the bottom with baking paper
  • Lightly butter a plate
  • Heat the oven to 160°c (fan)
  • Measure out 200g softened butter
  • Measure out 3 tbsp of peanut butter then keep the tin for however much you want to use for the middle
  • Measure out 200g golden caster sugar
  • Measure out 150ml natural yoghurt
  • Measure out 200g self raising flour
  • Measure out 100g milk chocolate & break into small pieces
  • Get 4 eggs, salted peanuts, icing sugar, milk & Carnation caramel ready

Throw it together…

Beat the peanut butter together with the butter, eggs, sugar and yoghurt.

Fold in the flour then split between the two lines tins.

Bake for 30 minutes. To check it’s done, insert a skewer and if it comes out clean, it’s done!

Allow to cool in the tins for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

Toss the salted peanuts (I used about 80g ‘cos we love peanuts) in icing sugar and a splash of water to give a sticky coating. Turn the oven up to 180°c (fan) and spread the peanuts on a baking tray. Cook for about 6 minutes, tossing once. Tip onto the buttered plate.

Melt the chocolate with 2tbsp of milk gently over a pan of simmering water then leave to cool.

Spread some peanut butter over one of the sponges then dot with the caramel sauce and spread with a palette knife.

Pop the other sponge on top then spread the chocolate over. Scatter the peanuts.

Dish it up…

Are you a straight up shove the cake in your mouth type of person or do you like to eat it with a fork? It’s quite sticky so I suggest the fork option!


This cake is rich with a capital ‘R’. Find it here.

Chocolate & Beetroot Cake

I’ve had some cooked beetroot hanging about in the fridge (still sealed) for ages and although not quite reaching its sell by date I wanted to use it up. Last week I picked up a bar of dark chocolate with the intent to make this cake. When it came down to it I had to make a couple of adjustments to the original but it was still good.

Oh, and this recipe could not be any easier.

Get set…

  • Roughly chop about 175g cooked beetroot
  • Chop 100g dark chocolate into smallish pieces
  • Measure 200ml vegetable oil (I did not have any sunflower)
  • Measure 2tsp vanilla extract
  • Get 3 eggs ready
  • Measure 200g strong bread flour (weird I know but I didn’t have normal plain flour)
  • Measure 250g golden caster sugar
  • Measure 1tbsp baking powder
  • Preheat the oven to 170°c (fan)

Throw it together…

Blitz up the beetroot in a food processor.

Add a pinch of salt and then everything but the oil and chocolate. Whizz it all back up again until completely mixed.

Turn on the processor to a low setting and add the oil, drizzling it in slowly.

Stir in the chocolate then tip in to a lined tin (or like me use one of the silicone moulds, just oil it a little first – even less to do!)

Pop it in the oven for an hour. When a skewer comes out clean it’s done. Remember though, there are chunks of chocolate in there so don’t confuse that with an unbaked cake.)

Dish it up…

The upside of my recipe error yesterday meant that I had crème fraîche going spare. Cut yourself a slice and stick a dollop on.


Mincemeat & Shortbread Squares

Happy New Year and hello again. It has been a while.

Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil of jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – Milan Kundera

I’ve been away since October when we almost lost Walter to the parvo virus. To say it knocked the wind out of my sails is an understatement. Luckily we got through it and he had his 1st birthday just before Christmas.

Here is an after & before as we had to have him shaved 😦


We’ve had some lovely meals over the Christmas period but I didn’t get the camera out a lot. I also didn’t personally do any baking but Mr S made these after the new year. I can’t stand mince pies but these were good.


  • Get 250g butter to room temperature
  • Measure out 100g of golden caster sugar, 140g ground rice, 250g plain flour, 1tsp vanilla extract, ½ tsp ground cloves, 1¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Get 350g good quality mincemeat (I used Waitrose signature spice) ready
  • Get granulated sugar and dark chocolate ready
  • Preheat the oven to 160ºc (fan)


Grease and line the base of a 20cm square tin.

Beat the butter, caster sugar, vanilla, cloves and 1 tsp of the cinnamon until pale and fluffy.

Stir in the flour and ground rice then knead to a smooth dough.

Halve the dough and roll one half out roughly then press into the bottom of the tin.

Spread the mincemeat over leaving 1cm border around the edge.

Roll out the other half of the dough between 2 sheets of baking parchment and gently slide onto the mincemeat. Seal around the edges and gently press to dimple then prick with a fork.

Bake in the oven for around 25 minutes until lightly golden.

Mix a couple of tablespoons of sugar with the remaining cinnamon and sprinkle over the top. Leave to cool in the tin.

Melt the chocolate and drizzle over the cooled shortbread then cut into slices.

I got the recipe from the 2015 BBC Good Food calendar.


Victoria Sponge

On a high from my Lemon Drizzle Loaf and expecting company I made Jamie Oliver’s sponge. I love the fact that he adds the rose petals but I was worried ours had bugs so they are missing from my recipe.


  • Weigh out 250g unsalted butter, leave to soften.
  • Weigh out 250g self raising flour
  • Weigh out 250g golden caster sugar
  • Leave out 4 large eggs for room temp
  • Zest an orange
  • Measure out 150ml double cream
  • Get 2 tsps caster sugar ready
  • Get 4 tbsp raspberry jam ready
  • Get fresh raspberries, ½ a vanilla pod & icing sugar ready
  • Preheat the oven to 190ºc (fan)


Grease and line two 20cm sandwich tins.

Beat the butter and golden caster sugar until light and fluffy. Add an egg and mix well. Add a heaped tbsp of the flour and mix again, repeat with the other three eggs. Add the remaining flour and the orange zest and fold in.

Divide between the two tins and spread well. Cook for 20-25 minutes. Check it is cooked by inserting a skewer. It’s done if it comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the tins for a little while then turn on to a wire rack.

Once the cake has cooled completely, scrape out the seeds from the vanilla pod, add to the cream and caster sugar and whip until you have soft peaks.

Spread the jam over the bottom half of the cake. Spread the cream then scatter the raspberries on top. Add the top cake layer and dust with icing sugar.

I topped mine off with a sprig of mint.

I have to say, I seem to have got into making the light sponge. I’ll be applying for the Great British Bake Off *next.

TWD_Baking_Vic_Sponge TWD_Baking_Vic_Sponge2*No I won’t, I’m not very good at being competitive, I’d fall apart.

Lemon Drizzle Loaf

On 18th July 2015, This was Dinner

No I didn’t just eat lemon drizzle cake for dinner. Mr S was going out and I had invited my sister and cousin round for dinner. Emma is vegetarian so I decided to go with:

Chilli Marinated Halloumi


Lemon Drizzle Cake

As Charlotte isn’t a vegetarian, the lemon drizzle cake was my nod to her as it’s her favourite.

The halloumi was easy. Slice some chillis, slice the halloumi, mix it all with oil and leave to marinate until cooking time. Griddle a minute or two on each side and serve in a ‘lettuce cup’. Top with a yoghurt dressing comprising of grated carrot and shredded mince, use up the chillis from the marinade for a little colour.


I made these falafels from a previous post but they broke up a little so here’s the pic from the successful ones. They still tasted good though. I made the taratoor sauce this time, I won’t make it again :-/

TWD_0711_FalafelsThe lemon drizzle cake? Well I’ve made it before and I’m making it again for Mr S to take to an event on Friday, I’ll have to steal a slice though.


  • Weigh out 200g salted butter and leave to soften
  • Weigh out 200g golden caster sugar
  • Weigh 225g self-raising flour
  • Weigh 50g natural yoghurt
  • Weigh 85g granulated sugar
  • Roughly crush some sugar cubes
  • Zest 3 lemons and save the juice of 1½
  • Leave 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • Get two tablespoons of good lemon curd ready
  • Preheat the oven to 150ºc (fan)
  • Grease a loaf tin (I used a silicon one so did not line it as well)


Put butter, caster sugar and lemon zest in a bowl/mixer and beat until pale and fluffy.

Crack in an egg, whisk to combine, add a heaped tbsp of flour, mix again and repeat with the other two eggs. Add the remaining flour and mix until just combined.

Add the yoghurt and lemon curd and fold with a spatula.

Scrape into the loaf tin and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes. It will be done when a skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for five minutes.

Mix the crushed cubes with the lemon juice and the granulated sugar.

Transfer the cake to a wire rack. Poke holes in the top of the cake, a cocktail stick is perfect. Spoon the sugar mixture over the cake and leave to soak in.

TWD_Baking_Lemon_DrizzleI don’t think my photo does it justice. This is the cake I am most proud of ever making.

Find the BBC Good Food recipe here.

On Sunday we had takeaway pizzas.

Lots & Lots of Chicken Nuggets/Strips/Dippers

On 29th & 30th May, This was Dinner

Knowing your 11 year old niece is coming to stay means you have to check what you are making for dinner. Do they like spicy? How much of the vegetables I serve will she eat? Goats cheese? Chorizo? Salmon? Some kids are quite picky.

Well we made the spaghetti bolognese Wednesday, that went down well. Took her out for a lovely burger and sundae on Thursday – plate cleared. How about chicken nuggets on Friday? Homemade? They went down a storm. As you can see we made quite a lot of them.

Cut into pieces, dip in cornflour, dip in egg, coat in cornflakes seasoned with a tiny pinch of paprika and some salt.

Shallow fry for a few minutes on each side and keep warm will the next, then the next, then the next etc etc batch is cooked.

TWD_2905_Chicken_NuggetsAs I mentioned yesterday. We decided to bake a cake. We selected a few recipes then had a democratic vote and came up with this one – A giant jaffa cake.

All was going well until we put the jelly on top then started to add the chocolate. If you check the comments it appears we were not alone! It doesn’t look the prettiest but it tasted nice, Layla and I had fun doing it and more importantly it gave us all a hell of a good laugh as it started to collapse!

TWD_Baking_JaffaI couldn’t get any gelatin leaves and had to buy powder. I followed the instructions but it wasn’t the best – quite obviously!

Takeaways, eating out, cakes, we just had a plain old jacket potato with beans on Saturday as we felt a bit stuffed!

Kedgeree & Pea Purée on Toast

On 2nd to 6th May 2015, This was Dinner

I’ve had this bookmarked for ages and was really looking forward to finally having this twist on the kedgeree. Unfortunately, after spending some time baking I didn’t feel very well and I only ate a few mouthfuls. And no – I wasn’t picking at the baked goods.


  • Boil some eggs to get a nice gloopy yolk consistency (in boiling water, 7 mins should be good)
  • Chop an onion
  • Cook some frozen peas (ok to cool)
  • Slice some nice bread
  • Get haddock fillets, curry powder, butter & seasoning ready


Cover the haddock fillets with water, bring to a simmer then poach for about 7 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish. Drain when cooked through, reserving a little of the water.

Gently melt a little butter then add the onion. Cook until softened then add the curry powder and cook for a minute more.

Whizz up the peas in a processor along with a little of the reserved water.

Toast the bread and then top with the pea purée and a some onion mixture. Place the fish on top, along with the quartered eggs.

I also felt really bad leaving at as Mr S made it for us as I’d run out of steam.

The original Delicious magazine recipe can be found here.


On Sunday we went to a party at my Aunties. She was showing off her new, very nice, kitchen. I made prawn vol-au-vents, mushroom vol-au-vents and this very, very rich Brooklyn Blackout cake.

Brooklyn Blackout

On Monday I thought I was a little hungover from the party but oddly enough, I didn’t even eat the staple of the hangover kebab we ordered so I knew it was a little more than that.

It was confirmed that I was ill on Tuesday as Mr S ordered a Chinese and I ate one piece of prawn toast.

On Wednesday, I didn’t eat anything other than my sandwich at work! This is rather strange as my Dad always jokes that NOTHING puts the ladies on my Mum’s side off their food! 😉

A Happy Easter(Birthday) Party

On 5th & 6th April 2015, This was Dinner

We were invited to my Mum’s to celebrate Easter, it was also her birthday. I took my contributions of:

Pesto, Mozzarella & Roasted Tomato Wheels

Pork, Walnut & Wensleydale Sausage Rolls

Mushroom Pies

White Chocolate & Raspberry Cake

Chinese Custard Tarts

Mum had made about a thousand quiches* and everyone else brought contributions of too many things to remember.

It’s a good job the birthday girl isn’t an attention seeker as Walter was the star of the show as he got to meet the remainder of my side of the family. He was really well behaved too, but a very tired little puppy when it came to home time. Let’s just say he slept well. Hopefully Angel the cat has forgiven them for allowing a nasty doggy into her home!!!

Look at these lovely Easter gifts my Mum/Sister made up.


The sun shone and we managed some outside time.

Monday was even better in terms of the weather. We went on a good walk to finish off a lovely long weekend then copped out on cooking and ordered a Chinese takeaway.


White Chocolate & Raspberry Cake and Chinese Custard Tarts

If you read the blog regularly you will know I am not much of a baker. A couple of times I have made a cake it’s been a little on the heavy side. When Mr S and I tried this we declared it the best one ever! Having looked back on my blog I think we might have both been a little hard on me. I’ve made some pretty decent cakes! OK I won’t win prizes for presentation but then again, I’m not trying to either.

This is a John Whaite recipe that I’ve had in my torn out BBC Good Food recipes file for ages. I thought it was perfect for those who are coming to the party and had given up chocolate for lent. I also had some raspberries in the freezer.

My eggs and butter were at room temp.

Preparing the cake:

  • Cut butter into small cubes (200g)
  • Break white chocolate into pieces (100g)
  • Measure out caster sugar (200g) and self-raising flour (200g) & frozen raspberries (175gish)
  • Get 4 large eggs ready
  • Grease & line 2 x 20cm loose bottomed cake tins
  • Preheat the oven to 160ºc (fan)
  • Boil the kettle

Making the cake:

Pour the boiling water into a saucepan and leave on a low simmer. Put the butter and chocolate into a heatproof bowl and set over the water. Let it melt slowly and stir occasionally.

Remove from the heat and let it cool for a couple of minutes. Transfer to your mixer if, like me, that is what you are using.

Beat in the eggs and sugar then gently fold in the flour and raspberries.

Divide between the two tins and bake for 20-25 minutes. Stick a skewer in and if it comes out clean, it’s ready.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then turn on to a wire rack to cool completely.

Preparing the ganache:

  • Chop up some white chocolate (200g)
  • Measure out the double cream (250ml)
  • Boil the kettle
  • Get icing sugar ready for dusting

Making the ganache:

Pour the boiling water into a saucepan and leave on a low simmer. Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl with 100ml of the cream and set over the water. Let it melt slowly.

Allow to cool to room temperature then beat in the rest of the cream.

Spread all over the base of the cake then place the other on top. I took my icing sugar with me to dust with just before serving. Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of the cake when it was cook but take my word, it was very good.

TWD_Baking_CakeI have had these tarts bookmarked since February over on the wonderful Food Daydreaming.

I can confirm that they were delicious but I never got to take a photograph of them once I had dusted them with icing sugar and this is just a quick phone snap.

Chinese Custard Tarts

Mushroom Pies

I obviously have to make something for the veggies amongst us but to be honest, these were my favourite. I should hold the party at mine next time and that way I get all of the leftovers.

I made the mushroom mixture quite early on to allow it to cool, soaking my porcinis the previous evening.


  • Soak some porcini mushrooms in hot water
  • Chop up some large flat mushrooms
  • Chop up some portobello mushrooms
  • Finely slice an onion
  • Finely chop a garlic clove
  • Chop some parsley
  • Beat an egg
  • Preheat the oven to 190ºc (fan)
  • Grease a 12 hole bun tin
  • Get oil, butter, single cream, flour, ready made shortcrust pastry & seasoning ready


Heat some butter and oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion until softened.

Add the garlic and give it a stir.

Add all of the mushroom and cook well.

Add the parsley and cream along with some seasoning then transfer to a bowl and leave to cool.

Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and cut out 12 circles that will fit up the side of your baking tin. Then cut out another 12 for lids.

Place the pastry discs in the greased bun tin and divide the mushroom mixture. Brush the edge of the pastry with egg and add the lids. Seal well (unlike me) and cut a little hole in the top (unlike me), brush with egg then bake in the oven for about 25 minutes.

TWD_Baking_Mush_PiesThe beauty of these is you can use whatever mushrooms you fancy. A little cheese would be nice in these too.

The original Delicious Magazine recipe can be found here. We didn’t reheat them and they were lovely cold.